T Nation

Sets, Power and Over-Benching



I was wondering if you could sort out my ignorance. I understand as you do less reps you do the heavier you can lift, thus getting stronger rather than fitter or larger, but I dont understand the significance of doing sets? For example, I started a rippetoes program 6 weeks ago and did 3x5 on bench, but then I thought the famous set/rep was 5x5 for functional hypertrophy? why is it bad to do 10x5? or more than whatever sets is normally allocated?

My second question is how do I change my pure strength into a speedy powerful strength? Atm I can bench and squat alot more than I used to, but I cant jump much higher or punch any faster - I just feel a little lighter. I want conventional power for sprinting and punching.

My third question is about Rippetoes program, my lower pecks are looking a little over developed by doing flat bench, but I am not nearly plateau'd. I want to keep my bench improving but I want hypertrophy in my upper pecks to look balanced. Is is a solution doing both bench and incline in the same workout or in a different workout in the same week (my workout B)? I am reluctant to stop doing something if I am not plateau'd yet and am still able to put more weight on each session.

Thanks for comments,


1) Sets determine volume, an important variable in weight training. 10x5 isn't bad as long as you keep intensity, density, etc. in balance.

2) Lighten the weight and do explosive reps. Stop as soon as the weights slow down. This is known as dynamic effort.


exercising with weights will build muscle if your trying to increase sport you still need to train the muscle your getting to be explosive.

In other words either explosive movements or plyometrics.